Preparing the Next Generation Workshop Summary

Authors: Carol Cotterill, USSSP; Don Haas, The Paleontological Research Institution; Adriane Lam, Binghamton University; Kristen St John, James Madison University

This web page is based on discussions at the August, 2021 workshop, Advancing Scientific Ocean Drilling IMPACT: Preparing the Next Generation. The information presented here is being reviewed by workshop participants and represents a synthesis of the workshop community's collective understanding.

Jump down to Executive Summary | Introduction to this Report | Workshop Findings

Summary of Key Recommendations and Challenges

The following recommendations and challenges are synergistic across all guiding questions from the Preparing the Next Generation IMPACT workshop.

Key Recommendations

  1. Develop a coherent and continuing online program for professional development, training, and materials development for the next generation of Scientific Ocean Drilling (SciOD) scientists, researchers, and educators. The program will:
    • Develop and support targeted workshops and training activities related to SciOD 2050 framework priorities and other community needs identified in the IMPACT workshop for K-12, undergraduate, graduate, postdoc, and tenure-track faculty. [See identified needs in this report.]
    • Strategically compile, build, organize, and host workshops, training, and educational materials in an open access, more finadable, more user-friendly, and better-maintained online database.
    • Customize all communication and outreach activities for the specific audience being targeted.
  2. Increase online network presence (social media, databases, asynchronous networking tools) to build an online community and increase accessibility of targeted workshop materials, pair mentors with mentees, and continue building awareness of SciOD activities, workshops, and educational content in support of the 2050 Science Framework.
  3. Prioritize programming, workshops, training activities, etc. to have justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (JEDIA) components to broadly expand participation of those with historically excluded identities in STEM, and especially those with minoritized identities.
  4. Develop partnerships with other organizations and groups to increase the visibility of SciOD, elevate the program and partner organizations, and expand programming for students, educators, scientists, and researchers.
  5. Periodic evaluation of SciOD activities and impact on the community, mechanism for community feedback, and ability to make adjustments as necessary.

Key Challenges

  1. Change is hard. 
  2. Honest assessments of funding and staff resources against short-term and long-term strategic priorities.
  3. Further identify and assess target audience needs, and develop materials suitable for that audience, so as to gain maximum impact.
  4. Define roles and responsibilities for new and ongoing SciOD activities (e.g., what are USSSP developed, USSSP funded, community developed, externally funded).


The overarching question of the Preparing the Next Generation IMPACT workshop was How can scientific ocean drilling best prepare the next generation of Earth scientists? The primary intent of the two half-day workshop was to gather information from a wide range of perspectives to help USAC and the USSSP determine priorities and strategies for education and training-related broader impacts in the next operational (i.e. funding) phase of scientific ocean drilling.

The premise is to address the future research goals of scientific ocean drilling, as particular attention needs to be given to preparing and broadening the next generation of the scientific workforce. This will involve: (1) building greater awareness of scientific ocean drilling-related career opportunities; (2) developing and compiling scientific ocean drilling-science-related educational resources; (3) creating opportunities for undergraduate research that involves scientific ocean drilling data and samples; (4) providing professional development for college and university STEM faculty and K-12 teachers; (5) expanding training programs (e.g., short courses and workshops) to further develop critical scientific and transdisciplinary skills; and (6) identifying and adopting effective mentoring strategies for graduate students, postdocs, and tenure-track faculty.

Through invited presentations and participant discussions, we sought to identify community values and priorities with respect to education, training, and mentoring, as well as possible tools and strategies to help meet the broader impact goals of the 2050 Science Framework. We used diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) as a lens to consider these topics. We intentionally sought contributions from those currently (or previously) involved in scientific ocean drilling, as well as external experts on different aspects of science communication, education, training, and mentoring. We also intentionally sought examples of activities and approaches that may be models to adopt and/or expand in the future scientific ocean drilling program.

Overview of the Preparing the Next Generation IMPACT Workshop Program

The workshop was held virtually on August 2nd and 4th, 2021, hosted and supported by the Science Education Resource Center (SERC). Please see the following sites for the workshop description and resources:

Organization of this Summary Report

Below are takeaway points from the information-gathering Preparing the Next Generation IMPACT workshop. Themes emerged for each of the guiding questions based on examination of the invited presentations, breakout group discussion jamboards (See Figure 1), whole-group report-out discussions, live illustrator figures, participant evaluation surveys (road check and end of workshop), and comments made in the asynchronous online discussion boards. For each guiding question the takeaway points are organized around three subcategories: (a) values and priorities (these help shape a vision for the future and goals), (b) recommended tools and strategies (these help determine possible ways to meet the goals), and (c) existing challenges (these help identify existing hurdles to overcome in order to meet the goals).

Workshop Findings

Workshop summary -- Discussion  

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